Posted on Sun 05 June 2016

A short list of a few of my major gripes with Windows 10

Table of Contents

  1. Windows Update
  2. Windows Search
  3. Native Apps
  4. Pushing Windows Store
  5. Lack of Customizability
  6. Data Security

Windows Update

This one is a big one for me. Windows users with a Pro license may not realize that if you are not a Pro user, you cannot indefinitely delay updates. Of course as a developer I understand Microsoft's insistence on timely updates, but at the end of the day I don't accept that there isn't even the possibility (regardless of effort required) to bypass updating. Another major gripe of mine when it comes to updates is unexpected waking of the computer from sleep. I can't count how many times I have woken up to find my pc sitting on the login screen.

Windows Search

Compared to the search capabilities of Linux, OSX, or even Windows 7, searching for files and folders has never been more frustrating than with Windows 10. I made many different attempts at improving the search function, everything from a clean install to activating Cortana, to indexing all of the folders multiple times. Unfortunately, the search never managed to consistently find what I was looking for. A smaller issue, more about the UI of the search function, is with the 'up directory' button. Normally when clicked this button will move you into the parent directory of the one you are in. But when you are in a folder found using search, it only brings you back to the search pan. Isn't that what the back button is for? Why do I have to go through extra steps to reach the parent directory of a found folder, instead of using a button that fulfills that function in every other circumstance?

Native Apps

I won't complain too much about the bloatware that is now standard on a fresh Windows 10 install, but one of my largest pet peeves about 10 is with its photos application. If you open a picture from a folder that contains other pictures, you would expect the basic shortcuts to work. The most egregious offence in my opinion is that the back/forward buttons on a mouse do absolutely nothing. Microsoft has instead moved that functionality to the scroll wheel, which would normally be used for zooming in on a photo.

Pushing Windows Store

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the competition in the market to provide easy access to programs and media, but the way in which Microsoft has tried to implement their walled garden is painful in many ways. Oddly enough, the worst offender is search again, this time within their own store. A store filled with fake apps, clones of real apps, and apps for wich there is an established free and superior alternative makes trying to find anything useful a complete nightmare.

Lack of Customizability

Unlike many people I actually used Windows 8.1 before 10. One feature that I dearly miss is the ability to customize the start menu. Before you berate me for praising the much-hated full screen start menu, let me clarify that yes, I did hate that touchscreen-inspired abomination, but at the very least you could change the program icons (albeit with a third party program). You could argue that icons are purely aesthetic, but I have to use a program called DisplayFusion to create functional task bars on my multi-monitor setup.

Data Security

I won't pretend to be a data security specialist, or even to have more knowledge than the general population. Instead of arguing about how Microsoft is or is not snooping on you, it is more important that the facts are just not clear. To the general population, most of the information gathered is innocuous, but the precedent of enabling those settings by default is what I find disturbing. With technology all around us, privacy has become a hot topic. I hope that kids going through schools today are taught about things like encryption and obfuscation, though I certainly doubt they will be.